Florida Medical Marijuana for Cancer Patients
Can medical marijuana be used to treat cancer in Florida?
Can medical marijuana actually cure cancer?
Is it just used to help reduce the symptoms of cancer and the side effects of cancer treatment?
How cancer patients are using medical marijuana in Florida to improve their quality of living.
With 2021 upon us, Florida’s medical marijuana program is coming of age. One of the patient populations that are benefiting most from the use of medical marijuana is the state’s cancer patients.
With the most senior citizens in any U.S. state, Florida’s cancer patients are especially susceptible. Here’s in Florida, cancer moved into the number one spot in 2011 and is now responsible for the most deaths in the state each year. In 2015 the state reported more than 150 cancer cases per 100,000 residents. That year, more than 43,438 deaths were attributed to cancer statewide.
Not only do cancer patients suffer the many ailments stemming from the disease itself, but also the debilitating side effects of chemo and radiation therapy.
Medical marijuana has not yet been proven to actually cure cancer in humans. However, cannabis is proving to be an effective way to relieve these terrible symptoms and side-effects suffered by millions of cancer patients. There is, however, mounting evidence that points to marijuana offering some level of anti-tumor protection. And very early on, studies determined the efficacy of cannabis in relieving chemo-induced nausea.
How Is Cannabis Being Used To Treat Cancer?
As of 2020, along with Florida, more than 30 states offer medical marijuana programs to more than half the U.S. population. Now that legality is no longer a deterrent for usage, the number of cancer patients using medical marijuana is growing exponentially.
In addition to relieving nausea from chemo, it was discovered that certain cannabis compounds alleviated a myriad other symptoms experienced by cancer patients, including:
Nausea and vomiting
Loss of appetite
Fatigue and drowsiness
Sleep disorders such as insomnia
Depression and other mood disorders
The harmful side effects of chemo and radiation, especially vomiting, nausea, and appetite loss are not only uncomfortable but can spiral into chronic depression, malnutrition, and insomnia. All of these issues combined can make it extra-challenging, if not impossible for the patient to combat or recover from the disease.
The traditional medications available to treat these issues do offer relief from a handful of the aforementioned symptoms, but none of them are effective in relieving all of them. Many cancer patients are faced with taking a number of different medications at once, which may lead to drug interactions and unwanted side-effects.
At this time, there is no indication of long-term damage from the intoxicating properties of cannabis or the occasional lethargy it may produce — that is assuming that it is used properly and not abused.
What Is The Scientific Evidence For Medical Marijuana’s Efficacy In Treating Cancer?
Can marijuana cure cancer? Recent studies strongly that marijuana may be a viable cancer treatment that may actually slow the progression of cancer and even induce remission. However, the jury is still out on this and more studies are needed to determine marijuana’s efficacy at actually killing tumors.
The first evidence of cannabis’s ability to shrink tumors was discovered in a 1974 study by the American Cancer Society. This study was actually an attempt to assess the detrimental effects of marijuana. In an ironic twist, researchers reported a reduction of surgically-implanted tumors in mice, after the application of THC.
In the March 2000 issue of The Journal of Nature Medicine, Dr. Manuel Guzman (professor of biochemistry, University of Madrid) made similar claims. And the New England Journal of Medicine published a study in 2001, reporting THC’s efficacy in relieving chemo-induced appetite loss, vomiting, and nausea.
These are merely a handful of the scores of other promising studies suggesting the powerful effects of medical cannabis in the relief of cancer symptoms. You can find links to several studies on the use of marijuana in treating cancer at the end of this article.
Which Medical Marijuana Products and Strains Are Best For Treating Cancer?
Although the term “medical marijuana” has become part of the lexicon over the past few years, it’s often associated with “stoners” puffing joints or bongs with the sole purpose of getting high. Interestingly, in the past decade, the cannabis industry has moved beyond the “stoner” image and into a more sophisticated realm.
The new medical-pot paradigm includes multiple delivery methods, products, strains, and formulations. Terms like “bioavailability,” “onset time,” and “cannabinoid and terpene content” have become ubiquitous. Medical marijuana, it seems, is here to stay in its multi-faceted forms.
Vaping and smoking cannabis flowers, both allowed under Florida law, provides the fastest onset time and affords the highest bioavailability. THC Edibles and tinctures offer low bioavailability and can take up to an hour or more to take effect. Combustibles (smokables) are best for those with anxiety issues (assuming the patient has no lung-related issues).
Before a cancer patient decides on an appropriate regimen, formula, or method of delivery, patients are highly advised to consult a physician who is an expert on the use of medical marijuana in treating cancer.
Talk To A Certified Florida Medical Marijuana Doctor
No one needs to be reminded of how serious a diagnosis of cancer can be. The use of medical marijuana in treating cancer should be taken no more lightly than the disease itself.
If a Florida cancer patient decides that the use of medical marijuana is warranted to treat their symptoms, it’s essential that the treatment be optimized to have the greatest effect. In order to relieve the most suffering and possibly even help the patient bring their condition into remission, patients should be treated in the care of a certified medical marijuana doctor who is an expert in the treatment of cancer.
How To Get A Florida Medical Marijuana Card For Cancer
The first step in getting a Florida medical marijuana card for cancer is to contact a state-certified medical marijuana doctor. The patient will need to make an appointment for an in-person examination. If the patient is certified, the staff at the medical marijuana clinic will usually help to walk the patient through the state registration process in order to expedite their medical marijuana card.
MMJ Patient Registration Form
Sources and Additional Reading
- Medical marijuana for cancer
- Epidemiologic review of marijuana use and cancer risk
- The use of medical marijuana in cancer
- An epidemiologic review of marijuana and cancer: an update
- Cannabinoids and cancer: causation, remediation, and palliation
- Marijuana to prevent nausea and vomiting in cancer patients: a survey of clinical oncologists
- Antiemetic effect of Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol in patients receiving Cancer Chemotherapy
- Antineoplastic Activity of Cannabinoids